The international poverty relief charity Christian Aid has attacked the Tory-led government for “banning” climate change minister Amber Rudd from attending the crucial Lima talks on climate change.
Michael Gove, the Conservative chief whip, ordered the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) minister to stay in Britain to attend a vote in the Commons on unrelated counter-terror measures.
“Withdrawing the minister from these negotiations at such a late stage suggests that [the government] is not taking these negotiations seriously enough,” said Dr Alison Doig, principle climate change advisor at Christian Aid.
Christian Aid has now urged the government to reconsider Rudd’s absence from the climate summit. Christian Aid rarely attacks the government directly and is well known as a moderate NGO – rather than part of the ‘green blob’ attacked by Owen Paterson after he was sacked as environment secretary.
One year left
Doig added: “We are dismayed that the climate minister will not be part of these key negotiations in Lima. These talks are supposed to lay the groundwork for a global climate deal.
“With just one year left before that deal is supposed to be signed and sealed, and just one year since devastating floods hit the UK, action on climate change should be at the top of the government’s agenda.”
Rudd was originally due to fly out last week to attend the summit. Ed Davey, energy and climate change secretary, will only attend the final week of talks.
Ed Miliband, the Labour party leader, yesterday accused David Cameron of “dither and denial” when it comes to climate change. Writing in the Independent he said the Conservative party has abdicated its responsibilities and made Britain a laggard on climate change.
Vicky Wyatt, Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner, told the Guardian: “The Tory climate change minister’s no-show at the Lima summit is yet another sign that David Cameron’s commitment to this vital issue is wavering.
“If David Cameron wants the public to trust him with the country’s security, he should dispatch his climate minister to Lima at once.”
Photo: Creative Commons